Category Archives: Home Improvements

Staying Cool This Summer

It’s only May, and already we’re experiencing too-warm of spring weather in San Diego County! Here’s some tips on how to stay cool this potentially hot summer (and save money and energy!):

BLOCK THE SUN.

If you’re installing new windows, your best defense against sun is heat-reflecting or low-emissivity windows. These windows contain a thin film sealed inside double-pane glass to slow heat absorption in summer and heat loss in winter.

INSTALL FILM ON EXISTING WINDOWS.

One type of film — a window tint — absorbs solar radiation; the other — a reflective film — reflects the sun’s rays and is more transparent than the window tint. Install the type best suited to the climate in which you live. Films are left on windows year-round. Both should last at least 10 years.

INSULATE YOUR ATTIC.

If you live in a climate where summers are hot and winters are mild, also consider installing a radiant barrier — a layer of foil to deflect radiant heat. Radiant barriers, however, do not replace the need for other insulation.

Attach awnings. Buy ready-made fabric or aluminum awnings, or build wood awnings that complement your house. Install awnings on east-, south-, and west-facing windows.

MOUNT OUTSIDE SUNSCREENS.

Block the sun by covering windows that receive direct sunlight with screenings of bamboo, wood, fiberglass, or polypropylene.

HANG LIGHT-COLOR INTERIOR SHADES.

Reflect the sun with shades made with a shiny outer surface. Some fabric shades are backed by light-reflective materials.

INSTALL A WHOLE-HOUSE FAN.

If the humidity in your area isn’t too uncomfortable, mount a whole-house fan in the ceiling just below the attic. These fans draw in cool air through open windows at night and push out hot air through attic vents.

CROSS-VENTILATE.

Exhaust air any time the temperature outside is cooler than it is inside. Make sure air can come in one open window and leave freely through another.

Stay cool!

Projects with the Best Returns in 2017

Resale ROI

House projects have varying degrees of return; here are the top five projects with the greatest ROI, and the top five with the least ROI:

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

How to Decide on Paint Colors

What’s in a color?

Paint isn’t just paint; it affects the mood and feeling of the home and room you’re painting. Deciding on the proper color is important, whether staging your home to sell or just giving it a refresher.

what's in a color car.org

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Front Lawns: More Than Just Curb Appeal

Beautiful landscaping for your home is for more than just making a good impression.

Besides having that curb appeal punch, having a front yard is good for us! Having a lawn and/or yard reduces energy costs (as long as you have the right trees and foliage planted), cools down the outside areas, reduces stress, provides oxygen, protects trees, and reduces water runoff. All good things, while also making your home beautiful!

BeyondCurbAppeal

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, at CAR.org.

What’s in a Name? Energy Efficiency in Real Estate

Energy-efficient real estate and housing is a top priority for consumers; buyers and builders just call it different things.

An energy-efficient home when buying or remodeling is a top priority for 50% of interviewed consumers, and thus home builders often cater to and strive to build those types of houses. But the consumer and the builder often use different terms to describe sustainable, green and environmentally friendly real estate.

environmentally friendly real estate

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Money Monday: Rent instead of buying these things

Real estate and cars aren’t the only things you can either rent or buy; there are plenty of other rent-able things that you might not have thought about:

  • Tools – Perfect for when you have a DIY home improvement project, but probably won’t need that specific tool for anything else. Rent a chop saw for the crown molding in the bedroom, a chainsaw for the dead tree in the backyard, or a seeder to reseed your front lawn. Rent from local stores around you or Home Depot or Lowe’s, or see if a neighbor or friend has the necessary tool that you might be able to borrow. diy home improvement
  • Chickens and coops – Self-sufficiency can be a fun project or a lifetime endeavor; either way, with multiple companies with coops and chickens for rent, you can try out “home grown” eggs! Check out sites like rent-a-chicken.netrentthechicken.com, or rentacoop.com.
  • Art – Does looking at the same painting on your living room wall get boring after awhile? TurningArt.com allows you to continually rotate artwork for a monthly fee.
  • Clothes – Most cater to women, but there are several different websites now that do clothing rentals. Check out sites like renttherunaway.com, letote.com, or swapdom.com.
  • MSN.com’s article has several other practical things that you can rent: “10 Oddly Practical Things You Can Rent.”

San Diego County Events for March 4 – 6

There are so many great things to do this weekend — San Diego has a full slate of family activities and fun events to attend, starting today through Sunday!

San Diego county events this weekendWest Sycamore Star Party

Mission Trails Regional Park hosts this free stargazing party at the West Sycamore Canyon Staging Area located at the east end of Stonebridge Parkway. The viewing shindig will be led by the park’s volunteer George Varga. Telescopes will be available for attendees to use to view the stars and planets.

When: Friday, March 4 | 6:30pm

Where: Mission Trains Regional Park | 1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA 92119
Cost: Free
More information: www.mtrp.org/events


The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

Carlsbad flower fieldsSpring is in the air and Carlsbad is in bloom at the Flower Fields, open daily through May 8th. Take yourself out of the ordinary and spend a few hours in one of nature’s wonders – our Fields of Dreams, our Fields of Color. A place where kids can run and adults can linger – 50 acres of extraordinary color in bloom on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a special nursery, garden, and gift shop by Armstrong Garden Centers, and festivals throughout the season.

When: Now through May 8, 2016| 9am – 6pm
Where: The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch | 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA
Cost: $14 for adults, $13 for seniors 60+, $7 for children 3-10
More Info: www.theflowerfields.com


29th Annual Koi Showkoi show

The world’s largest Koi show comes to San Diego this Saturday. Stop by the free festival to marvel at more than 300 Koi displayed at Del Mar Fairgrounds in competition. Vendors will also be selling art, t-shirts, pond equipment and Koi of all sizes. If you’re looking to get a Koi garden started, experienced owners can offer advice.

When: Saturday & Sunday, March 5 & 6 | starting at 9am

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds | 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
Cost: Free
More information: 29th Annual Koi Show 


Seaport Village Busker Festival

San Diego’s Seaport Village hosts the only Busker Festival in Southern California. We bring professionals from across the country to perform their bizarre talents from sword swallowing to knife throwing to pogo stick tricks and juggling on unicycles. Throughout the two-day festival, some of the nation’s top performers fill the bay front village drawing visitors to shop, dine and enjoy an entire day of one-of-a-kind entertainment.

When: Saturday & Sunday, March 5 & 6 | 12 – 6pm
Where: Seaport Village | 849 West Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
Cost: Free
More information: http://www.seaportvillage.com/events-calendar/busker-festival


31st Annual Spring Home Garden Show

The Spring Home/Garden Show returns to Del Mar Fairgrounds March 4-6, 2016 for a three-day extravaganza of inspiring real “Garden Masters” landscapes, hands-on demonstrations, hundreds of home-improvement products and services exhibitors, educational seminars, plant sales, and face-to-face consultations with top experts — all with the convenience of one-stop shopping for everything pertaining to home and garden, inside and outside. Much more info on their website or here.

When: Friday, March 4 starting at 11am | Saturday, March 5, 10am | Sunday, March 6, 10am
Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds | 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar, CA
Cost: Free – $10
More information: www.delmarfairgrounds.com


Cherry Blossom Festival

The Cherry Blossom Festival, or Sakura Matsuri, is an opportunity to partake in the Japanese custom of hanami, enjoying the beauty of cherry blossom flowers. We will also have food, cultural performances, beer garden, and activities for the whole family.

When: Saturday & Sunday, March 5 & 6 | 10am
Where: Japanese Friendship Garden | 2215 Pan American Rd E,, San Diego, CA 92101
Cost: $8 general admission, $7 seniors and students
More information: www.niwa.org


Free Family Day And Eco Fair

Enjoy this free event with the kids at our Indoor Family Day and Eco Fair presented by the San Diego Audubon Society Bird Festival.

When: Sunday, March 6 | 10am
Where: Marina Village Conference Center | 1936 Quivira Way, San Diego, CA 92109
Cost: Free
More information: San Diego Audubon Society Bird Festival

 

Remodeling in California

To get their dream home, many California homeowners still have work to do after they close escrow.

California is the third state most likely to do a home renovation project. For homeowners in our state, a full remodel after purchasing a house is fairly commonplace.

For those remodeling, the average cost of a full-home renovation is $263,384, probably due in large part because 93% of homeowners enlist (and pay for) professional help. But, as you might assume, fully renovating your house adds value; the average home value after a full-scale remodel is $725,000.

Have you done a full house renovation?

Homeowners renovating your home

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS at CAR.org.